Historic vote in Oregon to raise taxes rather than cut education

It is likely that Georgia will move to shorter weeks or a shorter school year before it raises taxes.

Not every state feels the same way, as this story today from the Register-Guard in Oregon shows: (I am only reprinting a short piece of the story. But do read the entire thing.)

By David Steves

Oregon voters delivered historic approval Tuesday for a pair of tax increases after a campaign that assured Oregonians they could protect schools and other programs by requiring wealthy individuals and big corporations to pay more.

With 91 percent of the votes counted, Measures 66 and 67 each were passing with 54 percent and 53 percent approval.

Measure 66 raises income taxes on the top 3 percent of filers and Measure 67 boosts business taxes. Both tax increases were approved by the 2009 Legislature but forced to the ballot by opponents’ signature drive.

Oregon House Speaker Dave Hunt called the results “a win for Oregon kids,” whose schools will not face the 5 percent cut in state spending they would otherwise have confronted. The Gladstone Democrat acknowledged that Tuesday’s vote broke from Oregonians’ history of rejecting general tax-raising measures, which were similarly promoted as ways to preserve vital services.

The core difference was these measures were crafted to hit the bank accounts of only the most well-off individuals and the deepest pocketed big corporations — not all Oregonians and businesses across-the-board, as past tax measures have proposed.

“These are asking people who are doing well — even in this economy — to pay a little bit more,” Hunt said. “I think that’s what made the difference.”

The last time Oregon voters approved a general tax increase was in 1930, when they adopted the state’s income tax.

The approval of the two tax increases prompted ominous warnings of economic woe by opponents.

“I think the voters made a huge, huge mistake,” said Oregon Republican Party Chairman Bob Tiernan. “We’re going to have more businesses leave this state and we’re going to have a lot more businesses who are never going to come here.”

Measure 66 raises the marginal income tax on personal income above $125,000 for individuals and $250,000 for couples. It’s projected to pull in $472 million for the current two-year budget cycle.

Its approval means Oregon will have the highest state capital gains tax in the United States and will be tied with Hawaii for the highest state income tax in the country. But when all taxes including sales taxes (which Oregon does not impose) are accounted for, Oregon’s overall per-capita tax burden will be the 34th lowest — up two places from 36th lowest before the two measures were approved.

53 comments Add your comment

retired

January 27th, 2010
12:03 pm

Typical leftist..”wealthy” pay more….

jim d

January 27th, 2010
12:05 pm

Let’s face it this is a direct assult on the people that are creating jobs. I wouldn’t be surprised if this didn’t actually lower the funding for schools by causing larger laay-offs of workers that pay taxes.

Business’s my friends do not pay taxes they merely pass them on to the consumer. What the hell are these voters thinking? that taxing higher incomes will save their jobs? INSANITY rules!

M

January 27th, 2010
12:37 pm

Yeah, like cutting taxes has worked, Unemployment 10.3%. I am not advocating targeting the wealthy for taxes nor big businesses. There has to be some medium and balance to generate revenue. We ride on roads, most retired people receive supplemental income, diaster relief, and we use certain governmental programs. Splost for education-even county by county-instead of constructions, Sunday beer sales, and just a slight increase in the Cig. tax would help. Just because the voters of Oregon supported this does not make them a Leftist. I believe small businesses need more of the support from tax breaks then big businesses. But just becuase you Don’t like what somebody voted on doesn’t make them a Leftist. Really people.

jim d

January 27th, 2010
12:41 pm

M,

I’ll give this one last ditch effort——Business’s do NOT pay taxes—CONSUMERS DO.

M

January 27th, 2010
12:47 pm

I’ll give you one more last ditch, Business pay taxes as well as consumer. Why do you think in the last Georgia revenue report it was seperated. Do you know anything about economics.

jim d

January 27th, 2010
12:49 pm

you cant be thaat slow—i send a check but it is money gathered from my customers to cover the taxes—those customers then add the cost to their product and sell it to YOU

M

January 27th, 2010
1:00 pm

So you sell unemployed insurance tax to the consumer, Also as a business that buys and sells stock, there is a thing called double tax. I am sorry, but you try to over simplify something. Business do pay taxes. There are fines, which are a type of taxes. You know maybe you just do not have an understanding about the economy. If you will go get a Masters like I did in economics maybe your ignorance would not show through. Anyway I’ve got to get on the plane–Argue your worthless point anyway.

jim d

January 27th, 2010
1:05 pm

And if rather than a degree you actually ran a profitable business for over 40 years, you would understand that taxes are a part of your overhead which is included in the price of your product that the consumer buys.

jim d

January 27th, 2010
1:10 pm

Since you are getting on a plane, allow me to ask if you really don’t think you are paying for all the taxes on the fuel it is about to burn?

mark

January 27th, 2010
1:58 pm

Maureen,
Is there any solutions being considered that may have some momentum about having source of revenue? Has there been any consideration about doing away with one of the two standardized test?

jim d is indicative of...

January 27th, 2010
2:03 pm

the redneck rethuglicans that have a stranglehold on this state. No use arguing with. He thinks that Reagen was a saint who cut taxes. No mention however of the same president raising taxes three years straight in a row. My take on this is if the people of Georgia are stupid enough to keep voting rethuglican let them suffer the consequences.

ATLNative

January 27th, 2010
2:07 pm

I very much support education funding but I have major qualms about the way this vote was delivered. I think it’s a terrible idea to single out those that have high incomes as responsible for funding public education. There’s more accountability when everyone feels the pain through a funding mechanism like a sales or property tax than via an income tax.

Gwinnett Parent

January 27th, 2010
2:11 pm

Gee M,

Do you think that a business that has an increased tax expense is going to open up its wallet and hire new people or make capital improvements? Consumers pay income tax However, most consumers do not make capital improvements or hire people. Also, this tax also penalizes consumers making over $125k. The over 125k group tends to be small business owners. Wonder why we are having a jobless recovery?

Hope M is not an Econ teacher. Wow, I did not know that it was so easy to get a degree in Econ.

retired

January 27th, 2010
2:24 pm

I think cutting some tests is a good idea. At one time GA gve a CRT and it was given in 2nd.5th, and 8th grade I believe. You get an idea of what schools can and cannot do and whether they are just passing children.

what's right for kids???

January 27th, 2010
2:26 pm

And there are the wonderful checkpoint tests twice a year that indicate how well the student is doing before the actual test. THREE TESTS A YEAR???? What brain surgeon came up with that idea?

Joe

January 27th, 2010
2:58 pm

Let me give ALL of you a hint – most manufacturing and agricultural businesses have abandoned this nation because we have far too many rules, regulations, and taxes to deal with. In other words, the fools in the U.S. Congress and all states’ legislatures (who do not know or understand ANYTHING WHATSOEVER about economics or business) have sold us out to China, Japan, and Korea. Out of necessity, I’m moving all my manufacturing facilities to a country in Eastern Europe (where I can operate at a profit AND without undue government interference). For all I care, the rest of you can stay here and argue until the undertaker comes for you. The economy of this nation has been destroyed by IDIOTIC POLITICIANS and it will never actually “recover”. There are only three methods by which a nation can actually increase its wealth, those being mining, manufacturing, and agriculture. The three were destroyed in Britain many years ago, now they charge a “Value Added Tax”, or “VAT”, in an attempt to keep their economy afloat – that is a poor short term solution to a deadly long term economic problem. It’s very odd that Georgia’s government officials will get on their knees and promise ANYTHING to Korean, Japanese, and German auto manufacturing concerns in an effort to entice them to build new facilities here, while those same politicians literally slice the economic throats of G.M. and Ford. Don’t parrot that “it’s because of the unions” b/s, anyone who repeats that lie cannot think for themselves and knows nothing of economics. America’s days as an economic superpower are limited, in other words, IT’S OVER! If you continue to elect the same old professional politicians, expect the same old sorry results. If you continue electing the same old Senators, Congressmen, and other politicians and actually expect things to improve, you are just as insane as someone who views the same movie time after time expecting the ending to eventually change. NEVER VOTE FOR ANY INCUMBENT.

Joe

January 27th, 2010
3:02 pm

Forget it, government run schools are a complete disaster and they are simply government indoctrination centers. “Oh, but the one in MY neighborhood is EXCELLENT!”, sure thing, moron. Go ahead, argue until the undertaker comes to pick you up, I’m right and you know it!

teacher/parent

January 27th, 2010
3:36 pm

As long as we keep furloughing workers and cutting QBE to make up the money, we don’t have to make cuts anywhere else. Test away, GA-it’s obviously worked so well thus far.

Gwinnett Resident

January 27th, 2010
4:34 pm

Good riddance Joe. More white collar stuff and less blue collar stuff in this country would be nice. Poland can have their factories, I’ll take the Ipod design jobs.

Georgia Teacher

January 27th, 2010
4:48 pm

I am just happy Oregon teachers will not have to do more with less.

I understand the arguement against taxing the wealthy exclusively and part of me agrees.

The other part of me knows the so-called “fair tax” is a consumption-based tax prone to even more violent ups and downs in collections thank income or property taxes. I also know the cost of living is the same for the rich and the poor, so consumption-based taxes hurt them more, proportionally.

I am not saying taxes are the answer, but education is one of the few state services that must be funded. Period. It is up to our state to find a way to do that.

Georgia Teacher

January 27th, 2010
5:07 pm

Than, not thank…

please forgive the typo.

Lee

January 27th, 2010
5:08 pm

Holy cow! The economic illiteracy on this blog is truly pathetic.

Jim D is absolutely correct when he says that all taxes are ultimately born by the individual.

Sure. Go ahead and tax the rich out of existence. Who do you think provides the capital to open businesses, build factories, and create jobs? Hint: it ain’t the guy making minimum wage flipping hamburgers.

Free Market Educator

January 27th, 2010
5:17 pm

The USSA is sinking! Man the lifeboats! Pull your children out of government school en masse and home school. Most of you have lost your jobs anyway. All the complaints on this blog will be immediately alleviated. Each child will receive a custom tracked education. They will not worry about school violence. Their health will improve and fuel consumption will go down. Parents will get to know their child, and if he is a real brat, they will have it in their face and will be motivated to do something about it. Foolish immature peer pressure will disappear as well as all the expensive “gotta haves”. Each child that is home schooled will save the taxpayers around $10,000 per year. A college prep education can be achieved for under $1000 per year by home schoolers. All the crappy overpriced government school textbooks we are forced to buy will no longer have a market, and the free press will rule. Parents will buy what works for THEIR children and after multiple uses, the curriculum can be resold, thus lowering their costs further. CRCT tests would be cut and save taxpayers millions! Parents, if you are not willing to be responsible to educate your own children, then you get what you deserve. Teachers, if you sold out to work for the government, then you get what you deserve. WHAAAAAA! That’s all I hear on this blog. We all know the real reason you stay where you are is for the government paycheck. If you truly believed what you write on this blog, you would have left the school long ago and home schooled or started a private school. Where are your principles? Instead, you are part of the problem and allow those who would make merchandise of our children to do so. Keep rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic so you can get a better view of those melting icebergs with polar bears hanging on.

historydawg

January 27th, 2010
5:20 pm

Joe, how about you read a history book and study the origin of public education? “Government schools,” as you and boortz call them are not about indoctrination, but rather opportunities for all Americans, not simply those who can afford it or need to adhere to religious principles (since aristocracy and religion controlled the world prior to our Republic). I would imagine that public schools are more academically astute than most private schools in our state–especially given the segregationist academies, of the religious and race varieties.

jim d

January 27th, 2010
5:27 pm

has anyone else actually read the article?

OR. has the highest capital gains tax of any state and no sales tax.

overall per-capita tax burden will be the 34th lowest

the “yes” campaign, which got more than 90 percent of its money from public employee and teacher unions, reported spending $5.67 million to get this passed.

Democrats threatened “possible cuts, which would have included termination of state-funded medical coverage for more than 15,000 seniors and disabled people”

I guess its much easier to take it from someone else than to have to cough up anything ourselves

this is just wrong on so many levels.

historydawg

January 27th, 2010
5:29 pm

free market, aren’t you “making merchandise of the children?” Also, you might remember that we exist together–thus the hard part about democracy. The Greeks called folks like you, who abandon their neighbors and community to pursue their own selfish ends, idiots. The textbooks are chosen by teachers and parents and operate on a free market system. If you dont like them, please don’t blame the government. Blame the market. If we are all home schooled, we may indeed have a free press, but goodness, we may just ignore everything we dont like, even if it is our neighbor.

catlady

January 27th, 2010
6:26 pm

Won’t happen in Georgia, where the legislature panders to the wealthy. No one wants to pay for the education of THOSE PEOPLE.

CH

January 27th, 2010
6:38 pm

When it comes to you right-wingers ( Republicans and Libertarians), you guys will never EVER get the real picture! Well, I am so sorry that you rather stay blind and delusional.

retired

January 27th, 2010
8:36 pm

Textbooks are actually “choosen” in Texas and California…the largest market. Whatever they decide they are going to teach the rest of us get. Right now they are working on SS content…The committee on American History has decided to leave out much..Paul Revere, Danniel Boone, Liberty Bell, and Christmas. They want a less “Christian” and old men approach. They are having quite the discussion right now and whatever they decide we will get.

uberVU - social comments

January 27th, 2010
10:33 pm

Social comments and analytics for this post…

This post was mentioned on Twitter by AJCGetSchooled: Georgia would rather slash school year than raise taxes. Not so in Oregon where voters approved new education taxes. http://bit.ly/bAzUaR…

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d

January 27th, 2010
10:54 pm

In the end, it all comes down to what we as a society value and want. TINSTAAFL — There Is No Such Thing As A Free Lunch. We have to pay for it some how. Personally, if it were up to me, I would limit government to providing the following:
1) National Defense (including police/fire/EMT)
2) Infrastructure (Possibly to include greenspace)
3) Money Supply
4) Public Education (Including libraries)

If the government got out of all other businesses, and let the market decide on the rest (not saying we can’t still have choice in public education, but we cannot afford to have the uneducated populus that only private education would allow for), we would be able to lower taxes, increase choice, and increase overall standard of living.

Free Market Educator

January 27th, 2010
11:05 pm

1. “free market, aren’t you “making merchandise of the children?”

A. No. I’m just taking care of my own while I fund the government school children. It is the g.s. teachers and parents who continually bad mouth their schools. I never complain about my free market school. We have a great family life and my children excel in academics. They haven’t been sick in the last three years. They choose their friends well and are comfortable in a variety of settings. They have seen more of the world than most children their age. One of their friends has ADHD, another has Aspberger’s syndrome. It would seem that many teachers on this board aren’t nearly so openminded. I personally tutor a public school student in math. I do it for free. Just this year I have saved tax payers an extra $30,000 dollars. How about you?

2. “The Greeks called folks like you, who abandon their neighbors and community to pursue their own selfish ends, idiots.”

A. Thanks to home schooling, my children had a chance to visit Athens, Greece this year. We practiced our Greek and enjoyed lots of tasty Greek food. My 9 year old gave a fabulous presentation on the Parthenon and the Agora featuring photos he took himself. Our home school group loved it! And yes, we have “minorities” in our group, but only someone like yourself would notice.

3.”The textbooks are chosen by teachers and parents and operate on a free market system.”

A. If textbooks don’t match state mandated curriculum, they aren’t on the list. If the textbooks don’t sell in California and Texas, they’re not on the list. If textbooks aren’t published by certain approved publishers, they aren’t on the list. If a textbook mentions Creation Science, it’s not on the list. In my free market school, one text or curriculum per subject is not enough. I draw from multiple sources, using the best method and fit for my student. THAT’S what I call free market. Also, I see loads of public school texts and teacher texts at my favorite used book store selling for about $2.00 to $5.00. Most of these books are only a few years old. How many millions have been wasted by continually switching from one ineffective text to another? I’m sure many of these texts retailed for $70 or more.

4.If we are all home schooled, we may indeed have a free press, but goodness, we may just ignore everything we dont like, even if it is our neighbor.

A. You don’t sound very neighborly. Do you have something against free market educators? Why won’t you be my neighbor?

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m

January 28th, 2010
5:18 am

First, I support taxing more on bigger corporations in Georgia. I also support tax incentives for rural small businesses in small towns that have limited tax base. By placing more people in these towns to work you have created a little tax base. Bigger corporations need to pay more taxes-but not so drastic. Why is it that we have to either tax or don’t tax–It needs to be a balance of both. It is like economist are either Kenysesians are Freemans. There has to be a balance of both. I support a 1 cent SPLOST state wide. 1/2 going to education and 1/2 going to transportation. One thing that most economist agree on is the fact that education is key to economic growth. I support also a Cig. tax to help with the medicaid program in our state. Eventually, the stimulus funds will run out, and we need to support ourselves as a state. I am against vouchers becuase we have a school system required by the State Const. Vouchers just allow the Wealthier individuals to go to a public school at a discount. We need to do away with having all the test and only fulfill what is required by the NCLB act–I am against the NCLB but with little choice we have to accept the federal dollars and with it the NCLB act. We also need to support teachers, police officers, and firemen. Why do we need a 9,000,00 dollar arena in Perry, when these funds can go towards loaning small communties where banks loans are hard to get, because of bank foreclosures. Now Perdue is wanting to sell our loans to fund water treatments, city improvements, and other projects. To Gwinnett Parent-I do not advocate tax breaks for big corporations–just for small simple businesses like the local haircut shop, or the local newspaper who prints once a week. I stongly believe edcuation is the key to anybody’a future. I believe in taxing the lottery tickets and having that go to the HOPE. We have a revenue problem not a spending problem. That is all I have to say.

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Lee

January 28th, 2010
6:43 am

Again M, what do you think “big businesses” do when they incur a cost [tax increase]? They either raise prices on their product and/or reduce dividends to investors. Bottom line, it always gets passed down to the individual level.

Is this what is being forced upon our children by so-called teachers? Tax the big, bad businessman. Tax the rich. Yes kids, I actually remember when bread cost $.69 per loaf.

Buzz G

January 28th, 2010
6:57 am

Businesses must recover the taxes paid from their customers. If they have a competitor in a low tax state, they are likely to be unable to recover the taxes they paid and will ultimately have to move or shut their doors and lay off their workers. People of Oregon are stupid to be led around by their politicians. Liberals always claim the choice is less education or more taxes. But Oregon is a big welfare state. Cut that first.

M

January 28th, 2010
6:58 am

You are so funny, what do you suggest-more tax cuts–BOY that’s really working. Cut, cut, cut then take the profits send them to an offshore account and claim you are a real American. I love three presidents FDR, Theodore, and Reagan. Even Zell Miller increase the taxes and believed in education. Really– Lee you could be a comedian.

jim d

January 28th, 2010
9:51 am

Liberals can only exist off of someone elses money—If they really want to help folks they only need dig into their own pockets and keep their sticky fingers out of mine.

jim d

January 28th, 2010
9:54 am

I vote to tax M higher.

mark

January 28th, 2010
10:10 am

If it means a brighter future for my children so be it. I am not a liberal or a conservative. But if you see everything in black and white so be it. What is your solution to make preventing Georgia from going bankrupt. My parents, grandparents believed in education. EDUCATION is the best investment that we can make. I am not advocating a drastic tax increase on corporation- a slight increase. . In this notion that corporations need a tax break to expand is not always the case. For example EXXON paid their CEO 654,000,000 dollars a year for retirement and did not update or fix their refineries. Say what you will, but there has to be a balance somewhere. Education is an important part of the economy—Small businesses need more of a tax break then larger ones. How many factories have shut down and went overseas. We need EDUCATION. and we need to support it. You are so funny about tax basically comes from the consumer. Money is created with no value but the circulation the world places on it. Really folks we need a revenue source not cutting taxes.

M

January 28th, 2010
10:16 am

I agree with you Mark-I think education is important. Everyone needs to look at all options for a revenue source. Do I think we need to go as drastic as Oregon-no wot even close. Do i think taxing the wealthy 5% more-no. But we need to train our work force and work together with corporations. What corporation want to come to state the does not support education, crumbling roads, traffic jams, water shortages, and no support for its law enforcement.

mark

January 28th, 2010
10:20 am

I don’t know what the solution is? I just support Education. I don’t mean to sound so harsh sometimes, but I know that education helped me out of poverty. AND I am not economist. I am not rich I am trying to trust the General Assembly to do the right thing. I do know Georgia needs a solution for all these problems. Maybe if they can get the tax collection streamlined and start collecting the 5 to 10% of scaflaws, maybe we would take such a hard hit.

Cobb Parent

January 28th, 2010
10:36 am

If you see education as an expense, I can see how it would be very easy to call public education socialism 101. If you see education as an investment in our future economic development, like many of us that actually sent our kids to “government schools” and watched their kids go on to Ivy League universities, public education is what distinguishes western societies from third world countries where education is a privilege of the wealthy.

Imo, we can certainly save a few dollars now by cutting education funding but when all our high tech and white collar jobs get shipped off to Asia, where education seems more strongly valued, that’s when the real cost kicks in. Companies want a lower and consistent tax rate, that is true. Left unsaid is that they also want an educated workforce.

DeKalb Conservative

January 28th, 2010
11:00 am

Wow, way to go. People voted to penalized the top 3%. Doesn’t take rocket science for that logic because THERE’S NO PERSONAL SACRIFICE FOR THE OTHER 97%

Duh

January 28th, 2010
11:16 am

Democracy really stinks when you’re on the losing end, doesn’t it?

jim d

January 28th, 2010
12:09 pm

Just one little problem with taxing larger corps more. They stop spending—and you know many of them use Small business, minority contractors and female owned companies to do a lot of their work. So who is ultimately hurt?

it is easy to point fingers at these large corps. but fact is they really do fuel the economy.

jim d

January 28th, 2010
12:11 pm

Democracy may smell bad but socialisim in any form sux

Hello From Oregon

January 28th, 2010
2:58 pm

Based on the comments here, it is plain to see that the great people of Georgia seem to exhibit more common sense than my fellow citizens here in Oregon. What the unions accomplished this week was a 20% increase in the tax rate for both businesses and individuals. If that were not enough, we also got a 100% in all business filing fees, and an increase in our minimum business tax from $10 to $150. Don’t think $140 means much, talk to a small business owner.

But the real doozie was the new gross receipts tax. Now, an Oregon business with NO TAXABLE INCOME, has the privilege of paying UP TO $100,000 for the right to loose money in Oregon. Oh Joy.

The business community of Oregon thanks you for your support. Who knows, over the next couple of years, you might have some new neighbors.